Avoiding Hell Gate: A Suggestion, Georgia AICW Statute Miles 575 to 619
Capt. Hechtman is offering a suggestion for avoiding Hell Gate (statute mile 602), one of the perennial trouble spots in the Georgia Waterway. Walburg Creek shapes the east side of Walburg Island and the Waterway lies on the west side. Good depths and great beach combing. While the creek has both a northern and southern entrance from the AICW, we prefer the northern passage, though there is still an unmarked shoal in St. Catherine’s Sound which must be bypassed.
A fun alternative is to make the fairly short journey outside through St. Catherine’s and back in at Wassaw and up the Wilmington River (and vice-versa) and avoid what is probably the least scenic part of the georgia ICW as well as
Hell Gate. Deep draft boats use both inlets, especially Wassaw, that’s how all those mega yachts that can’t clear 65 feet get into Thunderbolt Marine. It’s very handy to the great Walburg Creek Anchorage, and in our opinion more scenic.
We have a 60ft LOA boat that draws 5 feet.
What about using the Wilmington Rvr. for exit from /entrance into Thunderbolt? I’ve seen the big boats heading down from Thunderbolt and assume that is where they are heading yet the charts look dicey. Anyone with experience out there?